35-year old IMEC marries technology and wisdom

April 19, 2019 //By Julien Happich
Future Summits
Celebrating its 35th founding anniversary this year, Belgium microelectronics research centre IMEC will host its traditional yearly technology seminar in Antwerp, 14-15th of May. This year, though, what traditionally used to be named the Imec Technology Forum is marketed as “Future Summits”, which IMEC CEO Luc Van den hove says broadens a little bit the scope of this event.

“Because IMEC’s focus on leading R&D for semiconductor technologies has enabled many new applications in our daily lives, it is very important to position not only the technology push but also to look at where our technology will stand in the future. This is why, as of this year, we call the event “Future Summits” which in reality is a combination of three events” explained Van den hove.

Indeed, this year’s Future Summits splits into three programs, namely, Imec Technology Forum Belgium, Forward Dive, and AI Flanders.

“On the first day is the IMEC Technology Forum, focused on technology and how it can improve the quality of our lives. On the 2nd day, we’ll take a different perspective, starting from societal challenges to figure out how technology can bring new solutions. It is a more visionary approach, looking at how we can address key challenges such as climate change or an ageing society with dramatic healthcare cost increases, and how we can leverage technology and Artificial Intelligence to find adequate solutions. Which leads us to the third part of the conference, with a particular focus on AI, a very hot topic.

Cooperation is key in this very connected academic world and as Van den hove highlighted, “IMEC has grown from being a central R&D powerhouse for semiconductor technologies to many different fields enabled by the resulting integrated circuits, moving to IoT and smart industrial applications. Whereas in the past, the platforms were very generic, now we have to develop technology that is much more application specific. That’s why we collaborate more with a consortium approach now, not just developing technology for a few big customers”.

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